We are proud to announce that as of today there are now TEN MILLION historic Australian newspaper pages available in Trove! The lucky edition is the Saturday July 31, 1915 issue of The Leader, from the NSW city of Orange. We are also celebrating the milestone of almost ONE HUNDRED MILLION articles within those pages which can be individually searched and referenced.
Front page of Orange's 'The Leader' - Saturday July 31, 1915
This represents a milestone for the National Library initiative, the Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program, which was launched in 2008 as a project to provide free access to text-searchable digitised Australian newspapers. The first papers became available online the following year with subsequent access via the National Library’s award-winning Trove website. You can see the live tally and the availability of each newspaper within the Trove collection on the 'about' page. Newspapers are selected for digitisation by the National Library, with the support of and in association with state and territory libraries – with suggestions from the public always welcome. Historical societies, genealogy groups, interested organisations and individuals are also invited to sponsor a newspaper title for digitisation – like the current Canberra Times Digitisation Project. The Leader has been sponsored by Central West Libraries, the regional library service for the Orange district, the NSW Government Country Libraries Fund, the Library Council of NSW and the State Library of NSW.
Staff portrait from the Orange Leader (and their dog) c1900. The publication ran from 1890 to 1945 under various names. Image: Central West Libraries acc.#805951
It is fitting that as Australia prepares to mark the centenary of the First World War, that a newspaper from 1915 should be the 10 millionth edition in Trove. One of the articles on the front page of this edition is headlined SOLDIERS FAREWELLED. "Orange and the surrounding district has been represented in all the major conflicts where Australians have fought and died" said Councillor John Davis, Mayor of Orange. "However the Great War spared few families in the district the pain of loss. The easy availability of newspapers from this period will allow our community to read about, and understand, the stories of those who fought, those who paid the supreme sacrifice, and those who remained at home."
Local brothers receive a farewell before heading to war... EDIT: see comments section below to find out what happened to them.
Director-General of the National Library, Ms Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, congratulated the ANDP team on reaching the milestone, saying more than 500 digitised Australian newspaper titles were now available via Trove. "By digitising these early newspapers, we are treated to a remarkable first-hand resource – from births, deaths and marriages to the political and social happenings of the day." Ms Schwirtlich said she was delighted that a regional newspaper, such as the Orange Leader in central-west NSW, took out the honour. "This emphasises the wonderful working relationship between libraries," she said. "Digitisation of the Leader has been sponsored by Central West Libraries which has also sponsored other regional titles including the Canowindra Star and Eugowra News, Cowra Free Press, Forbes Advocate, Molong Argus and Molong Express."
The Australian Newspapers Digitisation Project team
Jan Richards, Manager of Central West Libraries, said "We are thrilled to be ‘custodians’ of the newspaper that made the 10 million mark. "This project demonstrates the importance of digitisation in preserving and making widely accessible unique, historic resources to the community wherever they are." Ros Dorsman, Project Coordinator from Central West Libraries added that, " This project is an excellent example of how libraries collaborate for the benefit of the wider community. It was very easy working with the Newspaper Digitisation team at the National Library and by having access to the microfilm masters from the State Library of New South Wales it was possible to use the best quality originals for the project."
Just some of the magnetic tape data storage cartridges that hold Trove's newspaper collection
Feel free to jump in and start correcting text within Trove or, if you know more about the history of the newspaper itself, to improve its recently created Wikipedia article. See also our press release about this milestone.